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Home brewing


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#1 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

Does anybody else take part in this enjoyable hobby?

 

My mum bought me a Coopers kit for Christmas and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. It produced a more than passable lager which was a million miles away from what most people I knew were expecting. 

 

After that, I tried to run before I could walk and attempted a partial mash that unfortunately went bad for a reason I'm still not quite sure because it was smelling and tasting pretty good at first. It was not fun pouring away 30 odd bottles of the stuff. 

 

I'm currently brewing a partial extract beer that I bought from a company, which is basically just adding hops to dried malt extract but from the samples so far it's looking like it's going to be quite tasty although getting the correct temperature is tricky. 

 

Would be interesting to see if anybody else does it, hopefully more experienced than me who can give me some hints and tips and show me where I went wrong! 



#2 my missus

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:05 PM

i have been home brewing for 25 years i have brewed almost everything, i would say lagers are probably the easiest, milds and stouts need tempreatures to be dead right.
i have just recently brewed some liqueurs which turned out great, i would say the most important thing with any brewing is sterilizing everything.
also when serving any beers don't be tempted to chill them to much they just end up flat.

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#3 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

i have been home brewing for 25 years i have brewed almost everything, i would say lagers are probably the easiest, milds and stouts need tempreatures to be dead right.
i have just recently brewed some liqueurs which turned out great, i would say the most important thing with any brewing is sterilizing everything.
also when serving any beers don't be tempted to chill them to much they just end up flat.

 

Awesome. Yeh temperature can be a tough thing but with lager it's fine at quite a wide range. I've been moving my barrel around the house trying to get the correct temperature at the moment lol but it's fermenting well. 

 

I'm a stickler for sterilising, I seriously don't know what went wrong last time. As it was fermenting, it had quite a crazy cold break but some of the pieces just never broke down and were floating in the brew days later when the rest of it had settled. I tried to sieve them out and that's what made it go funky I think. I've read somewhere that I oxidised it when the brew was splashing or something. As you can see I'm still pretty raw. 

 

I think I read somewhere that trying to brew whisky can be very dangerous, like you can make yourself go blind and stuff. Think I'll stick to my beers! 



#4 Ullman

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

Awesome. Yeh temperature can be a tough thing but with lager it's fine at quite a wide range. I've been moving my barrel around the house trying to get the correct temperature at the moment lol but it's fermenting well. 

 

I'm a stickler for sterilising, I seriously don't know what went wrong last time. As it was fermenting, it had quite a crazy cold break but some of the pieces just never broke down and were floating in the brew days later when the rest of it had settled. I tried to sieve them out and that's what made it go funky I think. I've read somewhere that I oxidised it when the brew was splashing or something. As you can see I'm still pretty raw. 

 

I think I read somewhere that trying to brew whisky can be very dangerous, like you can make yourself go blind and stuff. Think I'll stick to my beers! 

If you're mashing grain the temperature of the mash is critical. If you get it wrong you can end up with starch that hasn't been converted into ferrmentable sugars. As well as not being fermentable it can produce a haze in your brew.


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#5 westhuller

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:37 PM

If you're mashing grain the temperature of the mash is critical. If you get it wrong you can end up with starch that hasn't been converted into ferrmentable sugars. As well as not being fermentable it can produce a haze in your brew.


Hessle Road moonshine run tonight Dave !

#6 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:52 PM

If you're mashing grain the temperature of the mash is critical. If you get it wrong you can end up with starch that hasn't been converted into ferrmentable sugars. As well as not being fermentable it can produce a haze in your brew.


I suspect this was part the problem. My starting gravity was only 1.20. I was using a digital thermometer when doing it but in future think I'll get iodine to tell me how much starch is left.

Who'd have thought beer was so temperamental?

#7 hunslets iggy pop

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:40 AM

Over the years I have brewed beer and wine. Stick with brewing kit beers as they are easier to brew. Boots lager and bitter are the best I found after trying most brands on the market. Good tip on 40 pint brew requiring 2lbs sugar, substitute 1 pound of sugar with tin of Lyons golden syrup, this improves the taste no end, but the main thing is you must leave the lager in bottles for at least 5 to 6 weeks and not drink beforehand as the time you leave it is the difference between a great beer or something just drinkable,Say after 4 weeks left in bottles.

 

I don't  think Boots still do home brew beers, probably because canned beer is so cheap to what it used to be. I don't make home brew  beer anyway for this reason , but I still make wine. Usually now I make a blackcurrant  wine, made from Ribena , that's using a 1 litre bottle of Ribena , but NOT ! the no sugar added variety, as the no sugar added variety will NOT ferment out as it has a bad chemical substitute for the sugar. 

 

 

Ribena Wine Recipe 1 gallon

 

1 Litre bottle of Ribena ( not the added sugar variety )

2 pound of granulated white sugar.

1 teaspoon of citric acid.

1 teaspoon of yeast nutrent .    

1 teaspoon of citric acid

 

 

Method

 

 

  

 

Pour Ribena into a large stainless steel pan along with 3 pints of water , bring to boil , then add the sugar. Keep stirring, leave to cool.

 

Transfer the mixture to the sterelised  demijohn topping up to the shoulder of the demijohn, not the neck of the demijohn, with cold water, add Wine yeast, yeast nutrient ( 1 level teaspoon) and citric acid ( 1 level teaspoon ).

 

Fit airlock , with 1 camden tablet in the airlock, dissolved in the airlocks water.

 

Leave in a warm place till fermentation is complete, usually 3 to 4 weeks depending on temperature, and there are no bubbles rising in the airlock.

 

Syphon off into a clean demijohn , and re-fit the airlock. It may start re-fermenting ,just leave till wine looks clear before bottling.

 

Test with hydrometer should read 1000 after fermentation is complete , or taste it  if you have no hydrometer. The wine should  taste like  a tarty sour taste, but not sweet.

 

Bottle  in strong wine bottles, and leave for 6 months.

 

This is probably the easiest wine to make , other than kit wines, which I now think are expensive , compared to years ago counting inflation to the present day.



#8 Ullman

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

Hessle Road moonshine run tonight Dave !

Absolutely mate, might not make it to your end of Hessle Road though  :D 


"I own up. I am a serial risk taker. I live in a flood zone, cycle without a helmet, drink alcohol and on Sunday I had bacon for breakfast."


#9 Ullman

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:38 AM

I suspect this was part the problem. My starting gravity was only 1.20. I was using a digital thermometer when doing it but in future think I'll get iodine to tell me how much starch is left.

Who'd have thought beer was so temperamental?

Yes, you'd think it would be a simple process to produce the humble pint of ale but there's a heck of a lot can go wrong. If the gravity was that low that's almost certainly what your problem was. 

 

Brewing from kits is a great way to get started and some of the ones you can get now have very good reputations but I've always preferred to brew from separate ingredients. The choice you have now from online suppliers is fantastic. One tip I would give you is to get the best yeast your budget will stretch to. A genuine brewer's yeast makes a huge difference to the finished product.


"I own up. I am a serial risk taker. I live in a flood zone, cycle without a helmet, drink alcohol and on Sunday I had bacon for breakfast."


#10 Ullman

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:42 AM

I don't  think Boots still do home brew beers, probably because canned beer is so cheap to what it used to be. I don't make home brew  beer anyway for this reason , but I still make wine. Usually now I make a blackcurrant  wine, made from Ribena , that's using a 1 litre bottle of Ribena , but NOT ! the no sugar added variety, as the no sugar added variety will NOT ferment out as it has a bad chemical substitute for the sugar. 

I'm sure you're right about Boots. I think they stopped selling home brew kit a long time ago.


"I own up. I am a serial risk taker. I live in a flood zone, cycle without a helmet, drink alcohol and on Sunday I had bacon for breakfast."


#11 westhuller

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

I'm sure you're right about Boots. I think they stopped selling home brew kit a long time ago.


I was in Hessle Rd version of Harrods yesterday ( Boyes ) and they had a whole home brewing section, I might go back next week this thread has given me a bit of brewing inspiration myself.

#12 Ullman

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:12 AM

I was in Hessle Rd version of Harrods yesterday ( Boyes ) and they had a whole home brewing section, I might go back next week this thread has given me a bit of brewing inspiration myself.

Good old Boyziz, who needs Harrods when you have such a fine emporium?

 

(Reminds me of when a mate of mine first moved into his flat, my mam said 'Stuart's discovered Boyes since he got his own place'.)


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#13 my missus

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:16 AM

i used to get mine from morrisons but they stopped doing it, wilkinsons have a small home brew section, as you say the kits are best and easiest i do mine in a  brew bucket in our airing cupboard the temp is just right also use a bucket with a tap it makes it easy to get it in the bottles.

i have a kit here right now that i am going to start this afternoon,it's called "prohibition original liqueur" and makes 4 and a half litres in about 4 weeks.


What does it mean
This tearjerking scene
Beamed into my home
That it moves me so much
Why all the fuss
It's only two humans being.


#14 timtum

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:30 PM

I've never made it myself but my Cumbrian "dad" used to make a fantastic brew from his little house in Thwaite Flat.  He would then keg it, chill it, and serve it from proper heads in his garage pub - Lol's Bar - to the tune of his fine collection of German Oompah music.

 

I'm trying to remember but I think they were happy days.   :wacko:


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#15 chuffer

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

Over the years I have brewed beer and wine. Stick with brewing kit beers as they are easier to brew. Boots lager and bitter are the best I found after trying most brands on the market. Good tip on 40 pint brew requiring 2lbs sugar, substitute 1 pound of sugar with tin of Lyons golden syrup, this improves the taste no end, but the main thing is you must leave the lager in bottles for at least 5 to 6 weeks and not drink beforehand as the time you leave it is the difference between a great beer or something just drinkable,Say after 4 weeks left in bottles.

I don't think Boots still do home brew beers, probably because canned beer is so cheap to what it used to be. I don't make home brew beer anyway for this reason , but I still make wine. Usually now I make a blackcurrant wine, made from Ribena , that's using a 1 litre bottle of Ribena , but NOT ! the no sugar added variety, as the no sugar added variety will NOT ferment out as it has a bad chemical substitute for the sugar.


Ribena Wine Recipe 1 gallon

1 Litre bottle of Ribena ( not the added sugar variety )
2 pound of granulated white sugar.
1 teaspoon of citric acid.
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrent .
1 teaspoon of citric acid


Method




Pour Ribena into a large stainless steel pan along with 3 pints of water , bring to boil , then add the sugar. Keep stirring, leave to cool.

Transfer the mixture to the sterelised demijohn topping up to the shoulder of the demijohn, not the neck of the demijohn, with cold water, add Wine yeast, yeast nutrient ( 1 level teaspoon) and citric acid ( 1 level teaspoon ).

Fit airlock , with 1 camden tablet in the airlock, dissolved in the airlocks water.

Leave in a warm place till fermentation is complete, usually 3 to 4 weeks depending on temperature, and there are no bubbles rising in the airlock.

Syphon off into a clean demijohn , and re-fit the airlock. It may start re-fermenting ,just leave till wine looks clear before bottling.

Test with hydrometer should read 1000 after fermentation is complete , or taste it if you have no hydrometer. The wine should taste like a tarty sour taste, but not sweet.

Bottle in strong wine bottles, and leave for 6 months.

This is probably the easiest wine to make , other than kit wines, which I now think are expensive , compared to years ago counting inflation to the present day.


Might give that a bash actually......cheers for sharing!

#16 Trojan

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

I got a Youngs "Micro Brewery" for Christmas. I brewed the kit included which was something called "Norfolk Wherry Bitter"  It turned out ok, if a little lively - you had to decant it from the barrel into a litre jug to allow for the foam to settle into a pint.  I also got a recipe book with recipes for the various famous beers including Landlord. I'm going to the home brew shop soon to buy ingredients.  I've dabbled with home brew since the sixties but never had great success. Here's hoping things'll change.


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#17 hunslets iggy pop

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:44 PM

Might give that a bash actually......cheers for sharing!

You welcome Chuffer.

 

A few years ago I put this recipe to the Ribena company , as they were asking for food and drink recipes using Ribena .And some recipes would be published.

 

I got a reply from them, more or less saying thanks but no thanks. Maybe the company legally could not use this as in conjunction with it being alcohol related.



#18 RidingPie

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:44 PM

This is a timely topic. My father in law was saying yesterday that he was thinking of trying home brewing, and since its his birthday next month I thought maybe getting him a basic kit might be the way forward. Could anyone recommend a starter kit for brewing red wine? (I thought he'd say beer but when I not so subtly asked him he said wine!)

 

Thanks



#19 hunslets iggy pop

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:23 PM

Well Boots used to be the best place for wine & beer kits , but as I said earlier they don't do home brew anymore.

 

Apart from your local home brew specialists. I should say Wilkinson's . Any starter Red wine kit they sell should make a decent drink.

I have made a few kits up before from Wilk'os and they were ok.

 

Still think the Boots make home  wines & beers were the best by a mile.



#20 RidingPie

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

Thanks! I'll check out our local Wilkinsons (though it isn't the biggest on).

Not sure where the nearest 'real' home brew store might be though. Probably castleford.




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